There is a storm brewing off of the Korean Peninsula after a U.S. spy satellite documented an illicit exchange between China and North Korea.
Given the poor behavior of Kim Jong Un and his military leaders, it came as no surprise when the United Nations decided to slap the rogue regime with harsh trade sanctions, especially in the context of their business with China, their only true ally. North Korea utterly depends on China for oil, and, in return, China has been buying a bulk of the North Korea coal being produced in the dictatorship. Both of these practices are now a “no-go”, however, due to Kim’s inability to play by the nuclear rules.
This hasn’t stopped the exchanges, however, as evidenced by a number of spy satellite images recorded by the U.S. in October. In the photos, Chinese vessels were seen linking up to North Korean vessels in what could only be assumed as a transfer of oil – an expressly forbidden practice at the moment.
This has South Korea leaping into action.
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“South Korea said Friday that it was holding a Hong Kong-flagged ship and its crew members for allegedly violating U.N. sanctions by transferring oil to a North Korean vessel in October.
“The Lighthouse Winmore is believed to have transferred about 600 tons of refined petroleum products to the North Korean ship, the Sam Jong 2, in international waters on Oct. 19, after leaving the South Korean port of Yeosu, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official said.
“South Korean customs authorities boarded the ship and interviewed crew members after they returned to Yeosu on Nov. 24. South Korea formally seized the ship after the U.N. Security Council on Dec. 22 imposed new sanctions on North Korea that allow member states to seize, inspect and freeze vessels that are suspected of transferring banned goods to or from North Korea, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules.”
This chapter in the ongoing saga of North Korea’s war against the world has U.S. diplomats fuming once again, as Kim Jong Un continues to skirt international law with near-impunity.
U.S. President Donald Trump has himself chastised the Chinese government over their inability to sufficiently pressure North Korea when it comes to their nuclear weapons program. Combined with the proximity of these nations to Russia, and the continue deployment of American military assets to the region, it comes as no surprise that many fear a new world war could be in the offing.